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Biography in Sound

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Biography in Sound

by WA4CZD

Topics Biography in Sound, Churchill, Winston, Sir, 1874-1965, Old Time Radio, Winston Churchill, OTR, Thornton Wilder, Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975, Sinclair Lewis, Lewis, Sinclair, 1885-1951, George M Cohan, Cohan, George M. (George Michael), 1878-1942, H V Kaltenborn, Kaltenborn, H. V. (Hans von), 1878-1965, Connie Mack, Mack, Connie, 1862-1956, Fred Allen, Allen, Fred, 1894-1956, Robert Benchley, Benchley, Robert, 1889-1945, Fiorello La Guardia, La Guardia, Fiorello H. (Fiorello Henry), 1882-1947, H L Mencken, Mencken, H. L. (Henry Louis), 1880-1956, George Washington, Washington, George, 1732-1799, Herbert Hoover, Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964, Grantland Rice, Rice, Grantland, 1880-1954, Jerome Kern, Kern, Jerome, 1885-1945, Albert Schweitzer, Schweitzer, Albert, 1875-1965, Thomas Wolfe, Wolfe, Thomas, 1900-1938, Babe Ruth, Ruth, Babe, 1895-1948, George Gershwin, Gershwin, George, 1898-1937, John L Lewis, Lewis, John L. (John Llewellyn), 1880-1969, Jazz, Leo Durocher, Durocher, Leo, 1906-1991, WC Fields, Fields, W. C. (William Claude), 1880-1946, George Bernard Shaw, Shaw, Bernard, 1856-1950, Baseball, Frank Lloyd Wright, Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959, Ethel Barrymore, Barrymore, Ethel, 1879-1959, Grandma Moses, Moses, Grandma, 1860-1961, Knute Rockne, Rockne, Knute, 1888-1931, Alexander Woollcott, Woollcott, Alexander, 1887-1943, Mary Martin, Martin, Mary, 1913-1990, Woodrow Wilson, Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924, Arturo Toscanini, Toscanini, Arturo, 1867-1957, Ernie Pyle, Pyle, Ernie, 1900-1945, Eddie Rickenbacker, Rickenbacker, Eddie, 1890-1973, Gertrude Lawrence, Lawrence, Gertrude, 1898-1952, Sigmund Romberg, Romberg, Sigmund, 1887-1951, John Golden, Golden, John, 1874-1955, Ray Bradbury, Bradbury, Ray, 1920-2012, Arch Oboler, Oboler, Arch, 1907-1987, Franklin Roosevelt, Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945, Thornton Wilder, Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975, F Scott Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Francis Scott), 1896-1940, Ernest Hemingway, Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961, Carl Sandburg, Sandburg, Carl, 1878-1967, Alexander Woollcott, Woollcott, Alexander, 1887-1943, Alben W Barkley, Barkley, Alben William, 1877-1956, Danny Kaye, Kaye, Danny, 1917-2011, Clarence Darrow, Darrow, Clarence, 1857-1938, Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, 1858-1919, Stan Kenton, Kenton, Stanley Newcomb, 1911-1979, Franklin P Adams, Adams, Franklin P. (Franklin Pierce), 1881-1960


Biography in Sound was an hour-long documentary radio program that was produced and broadcast in the 1950s. It's one of the best examples of radio excellence - the production is exemplary and I find every episode to be compelling. It's one of my favorites; I don't understand why it isn't more well known!

Each episode featured multiple guests, who often were peers or friends of the person who was the featured subject. For example, the show on Hemingway features Mickey Spillane, Gary Cooper, Al Capp, Leland Hayward, Marlon Brando, etc.

On the Biography In Sound log at http://www.digitaldeliftp.com/DigitalDeliToo/dd2jb-Biography-In-Sound.html there is a list of all the guests. That site is where I got the episode numbers listed in these files. Any error or typo is mine, however. :)


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Reviews

Reviewer: Brent Budowsky - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 25, 2013
Subject: Spectacular
I am well into writing a historical fiction novel---screenplay and while researching historical figures stumbled onto this site. It is fabulous. Hemingway recording was great, though I had heard it on You Tube which is how I found this site. I have now listened to 7 of the shows, every one is good. I particularly recommend the George Washington show which
Includes many things that are not widely known and very revealing. Because GW will make a cameo in my novel I have been fact checking and the key points in the show are being borne out in my check as true. This site is a real find, 5 stars in my book.
Reviewer: Robert B. Livingston - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 14, 2012
Subject: Splendid series
I've only begun to listen to these programs-- but have enjoyed every one thus far. The programs are entertaining, colorful, and valuable historical resources.

One need not listen to these in any order, only according to one's own whims and interests.

Thus far, I have especially enjoyed programs about authors, such as the one about F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Reviewer: Alonzo Church - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 15, 2012
Subject: A 50s View of the Past
Like any group of shows, there are some that are outstanding (Ernest Hemmingway, Ernie Pyle and HL Mencken), some that really do not get the subject (W.C. Fields), and a lot that is average. The most interesting pairing (not entirely successful, alas), is a biography of Stan Kenton hosted by that least Kentonian of voclaists, Frank Sinatra. There is a definite format to these biographies, so that you can tell just when you are going to hear from the best friend, or hear from that guy who saw the subject at his most heroic moment. If the subject is a politician, you will hear a lot of speches. If he is a musician, there's a lot of appropriate music.

I would not say this is something that is beter done than the average profile you would find on NPR, but the archival material is often fascinating, and the lives themselves often interesting.
Reviewer: Earle Bruce - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 21, 2012
Subject: very good
this radio show is very interesting
Reviewer: polistra - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 12, 2012
Subject: Excellent!
Thanks for uploading this!

The episode about Alben Barkley is especially good. Quite a bit of dull political speechifying, but one dramatic moment fully justifies the title of the whole series. Barkley turns out to have been tremendously influential among other politicians, even though his name is synonymous with public obscurity.
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